With outrage growing over the murder of Jagendra Singh, a journalist from Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court today issued notices to the centre and state government on a petition seeking a CBI probe into allegations that he was killed on orders of Cabinet Minister Ram Murti Verma.
The PIL petitioner, D S Jain, urged the court to frame guidelines and issue directions for the investigation to be monitored by the district and session judge of the area concerned, PTI reported.
The Shajahanpur-based journalist had accused Verma of illegal mining and land grabbing in recent Facebook posts.
So far, five police personnel have been suspended, but Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has refused to take action against his minister until an investigation is carried out.
On Saturday, Yadav made his first public statement against the minister. “An impartial probe will be conducted and strict action taken (against the guilty),” he said, The Hindu reported.
The journalist, who was allegedly set on fire on June 1 while the police was conducting a search in house, succumbed to his injuries on June 8.
"Why did they have to burn me? If the minister and his goons had a grudge, they could have beaten me instead of pouring kerosene and burning me," he said in video which was widely circulated on social media.
The family claim to have come under pressure to drop the case against the Samajwadi Party leader. The Supreme Court has given two weeks to the centre and the state government to reply.